I am excited to share with you UNDP's innovative way on private sector development through Project Facilitation Platforms to boost food production and job & income opportunities for farmers through advancing agriculture value chains.
UNDP's regional private sector project in Africa, the African Facility for Inclusive Markets (AFIM), is launching such platforms in East, West and Southern Africa. Stakeholders representing governments, UN agencies, private sector, farmers, financiers and civil society are discussing partnerships and value addition of the various partners in strategic agri-food value chains.
I am writing this from the first platform for East Africa launched this week in Nairobi convening partners from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Ethiopia. Project promoters presenting planned interventions include Africa Harvest, East Africa Dairy Development Project and UNIDO/UNDP to advance specific projects of sorghum, soy and dairy value chains.
Aeneas Chuma, UNDP Resident Representative who opened the Nairobi workshop stated: “A new private sector is emerging in Africa with great potential for creating new jobs, generating higher incomes and delivering products and services for all. Agriculture value chains and agribusiness are critical to advance food security and economic opportunities”.
The platforms are unique by focusing on cross-border and regional value chains, bringing all relevant players together and building capacity of regional institutions to organize such platforms themselves in the future. Furthermore, bridges are built between public and private sectors as well as between policy and practical project implementation issues.
“UNDP’s African Facility for Inclusive Markets is brokering partnerships and building capacity to develop inclusive markets that contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and inclusive economic growth. The level of participation for this East Africa platform is very encouraging, and we will launch similar initiatives in West Africa and Southern Africa,” said Tomas Sales, AFIM Manager.
With the positive start and feedback from the East Africa platform, I am looking forward to tangible impact of the strengthened projects and to the platforms in West Africa (July 2012) and Southern Africa (end of 2012).